Rq: Thoughs on "Fixing" my attic wiring.


As part of the project to install my new over the oven microwave, I had to install a 120 volt outlet inside the cabinet. I would not use the wiring for the stove hood it replaced because it was #14 and even if I cheat on sharing the circuit, I would need #12. Also, the previous owner ran the "romex" into some 1/2" conduit that was exposed in the cabinet space; I wanted a flush mounted outlet.

All this forced me to confront my attic wiring.

When we got the house about 8 years ago as a "repro" I spend several months of part time effort "fixing the worse" of the wiring. The previous owner had put in several three way switch pairs and one circuit had a 4 way switch. These didn't work correctly and I ended up removing all the switches and the boxes for the wires and started over. The ground wires were just twisted together without a wirenut and most of the metal boxes didn't have the ground wire connected to them.

I did go up to the attic but I only did the minimum to get things working right. I have since made two other serious ventures up there when I installed a hallway light and when I had to move a ceiling box so that we could put in a ceiling fan.

Anyway, it's "typical" DIY attic wiring with the "romex" running point to point on top of the ceiling joists.

I'm looking for a way to "incrementally" upgrade the attic wiring. I want a "system" that:

1) Protects the wiring so that if we use it for serious storage we don't cause problems.

2) Make it easier to add some ceiling fixtures.

3) Keep the wiring away from the roof rafters, (Maybe I can "give" on this.

4) Get the wires off the ceiling plaster so that the place can be properly insulated.

I kicking about various possibilities. One would be to put in some good sized conduit (2"?) running between some good sized boxes. This would all be rigid plastic.

What would you folks recommend? Frankly, common sense says just leave "working stuff" alone.

I definitely don't want to tear everything out and start over. I would like to overlay the new with the old and transfer over as I have the time and energy.

The roof structure was "stick built." It wasn't "engineered" and there are "collar ties" and king posts on every third set of rafters.

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John Gilmer
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It really depends on the existing layout. Here are some general ideas that may apply:

1) Consider guard strips:


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John; I have a house from 1980 that I am in process of upgrading insulation, fixing AC duct leaks and putting a floor in attic over garage for storage. My opinion is that the stuff done by the original contractor "is good enough".

The additions performed by the last homeowner such as adding fixtures and outdoor floods etc,. are all suspicious, open wiring without junction boxes, crazy switching, etc.All of that I am re-doing with new romex as was the original method. Those exterior flood lights I am home running to a common junction box where I will provide master switch (perhaps X-10) and power from new breaker.

I have an addition of about 200 square feet which I intent to add a Jacuzzi tub and re-do the crappy wiring. For this I am installing a small subpanel to releive the burden of the existing house subpanel.

I am not getting hung up about the messiness of the original wiring over joists etc. Soon the new blown in insulation will cover all and hopefully I will never put my head up into the main attic again!

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